UConn men: Brimah asserts control

John F. Silver

Where is the defense?

That was a good question for UConn at the half against Dayton. Over the course of the previous 40 minutes UConn didn’t play much defense.

Dayton had 41 points at the half Friday against UConn.

That’s not supposed to happen, not when Ryan Boatright is there to pressure the ball and Amida Brimah is supposed to be one of the great shotblockers in the nation.

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Recap: UConn 75, Dayton 64

Result: UConn pulled away from Dayton going on a key 19-4 run late run to advance to the championship game of the Puerto Rico-Tip Off on Sunday with a 75-64 win.

Need to Know: The Huskies’ defense showed up in the second half holding Dayton to 23 points on 9 of 29 shooting, highlighted by a 3-block, one possession showcase from Amida Brimah. That defensive effort set up a lot of offense and the Huskies had 20 points from Ryan Boatright to go with five rebounds and four assists. Rodney Purvis broke out in his second game with 19 points and Daniel Hamilton had 14. The second half defense was the key as Brimah finished with five blocks. UConn is now 3-0. Dayton falls to 1-2.

Links: Box score

Next up: The Huskies will take on West Virginia or Boston College in the championship game on Sunday.



UConn men Gameday: Huskies take on Dayton, 2:30 p.m.

UConn takes on Dayton in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 at p.m. on ESPN2.

The Huskies will then have a day off before playing in either the championship or the third place game on Sunday.

John F. Silver

Coming off a lackluster win, but still a win, over Charleston, the Huskies will play Dayton today in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Huskies were sloppy in a win over COC on Thursday with 11 second half turnovers, and poor first-half shooting. There are a lot of things to like about the Huskies — Ryan Boatright’s play over the first two games and Daniel Hamilton — and also some concerning things. The much-vaunted bench had only six points against COC. Sam Cassell Jr., Phil Nolan and Terrence Samuel are better than that. Rodney Purvis also struggled and has looked tentative in two exhibitions games and a 9  points, 2 of 7 performance on Thursday. Purvis is a slashing explosive scorer, not a spot-up shooter, so the game was uncharacteristic of what he can do.

The play of Hamilton, on the other hand, is an eye-opener. Hamilton is long, athletic and has a body and a game that is designed to be a major scorer. What makes his game impressive to me is his energy level added to his other skills. Hamilton plays with a motor. He reminds me of Rudy Gay, but with a much higher activity level.  Gay was a terrific talent, but he didn’t have assertiveness and a high energy level until maybe his second or third year in the NBA. Hamilton is active. When you add that to his long arms, passing ability, shooting ability and also his efficiency you get a great prospect.  Hamilton had the reputation as a gunner coming in and perhaps a bit selfish. I don’t know where it came from, but that kind of bubbles up through the internet. That analysis can’t be more wrong. Hamilton looks to be an efficient player who can play without the ball and impact games defensively and on the boards. Much more advanced than I expected. much more versatile than I expected. I like when he played the 4 in the small lineup. Huskies should go as small as possible as long as it can clean-up the defensive glass and defend.

UConn (2-0)

#11 Ryan Boatright 2 2 37.0 21.5 44.8 7.0 5.0 2.0 0.5
#5 Daniel Hamilton 2 2 32.5 12.0 50.0 6.0 2.0 0.5 0.0
#3 Terrence Samuel 2 0 26.5 5.0 40.0 2.0 1.5 0.0 0.0
#35 Amida Brimah 2 2 26.0 13.0 68.8 4.5 0.5 0.0 3.0
#12 Kentan Facey 2 2 24.0 3.5 33.3 7.5 0.5 0.0 0.0
#10 Sam Cassell Jr. 2 1 23.5 6.0 36.4 2.5 2.0 1.0 0.0
#44 Rodney Purvis 1 1 31.0 9.0 28.6 1.0 2.0 1.0 0.0
#1 Phillip Nolan 2 0 10.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
#14 Rakem Lubin 2 0 5.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Dayton (2-0)

#11 Scoochie Smith 2 2 32.0 6.0 26.7 5.0 6.5 3.0 0.5
#21 Dyshawn Pierre 2 2 28.5 15.0 71.4 6.0 1.0 0.5 0.0
#3 Kyle Davis 2 2 28.5 11.5 47.1 2.5 3.0 3.0 0.0
#40 Devon Scott 2 2 28.5 8.0 66.7 8.0 1.0 0.5 2.0
#24 Jordan Sibert 2 2 25.0 9.0 23.8 3.5 0.5 0.0 0.5
#1 Darrell Davis 2 0 22.5 10.0 35.7 0.0 1.0 0.5 0.0
#12 Jalen Robinson 2 0 20.5 3.5 30.0 3.5 0.5 1.5 0.0
#25 Kendall Pollard 1 0 16.0 5.0 50.0 1.0 0.0 1.0 1.0
#22 Bobby Wehrli 1 0 11.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
#51 William Dupuy 1 0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
#44 Joey Gruden 1 0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


UConn men tip-off: Purvis gets his chance

John F. Silver

UConn will play in the Puerto Rico tip-off a little after 12:30 today against College of Charleston.

The Huskies are coming off a win over Bryant, but have been idle for six days as they made a trip to the island.

Today’s game will feature the debut of Rodney Purvis, a transfer from NC State who had to sit out the opener after appearing in too many summer leagues this past summer.

Purvis is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound athlete and averaged 8.3 points per game at NC State as a freshman with 23 starts.

Purvis is a terrific athletic specimen and will provide scoring and explosiveness off the dribble to the Huskies’ offense.

Purvis will get the start today per my colleague Neill Ostrout, who is in Puerto Rico holding things down.

The Huskies will play either Dayton or Texas A&M tomorrow.


Adams, Enoch’s Letters of Intent arrive

UConn has received Letters of Intent from recruits in PG Jalen Adams and PF Steve Enoch as the Huskies bolster their roster for the future [/sny-editorial]

Adams is a 6-2 guard from Roxbury, Mass., who currently attends Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., while Enoch is a 6-10 forward from Norwalk, Conn., who currently attends St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn.

“We’re very excited to have both these young men coming into our program,” UConn Coach Kevin Ollie said. “Not only are they quality basketball players, but quality people and outstanding student-athletes. I know they will be great additions to our UConn family.”

Adams is a 170-pound combo guard who is consistently rated among the top 25 players in his class nationwide by most recruiting services. He is equally adept at getting to the rim and finishing, shooting the three-pointer, or as a playmaker at the point. He is at Brewster Academy for a prep year after graduating from Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass.

Enoch, a 220-pound forward, blossomed this summer while playing AAU ball to jump into the top 75 on most recruiting service lists. The fast-improving big man is a solid rebounder, who shows strength around the rim and has developed a consistent short jump shot. He transferred to St. Thomas More this year after three years at Norwalk High School. As a junior, Enoch averaged 14.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.4 blocks at Norwalk.

Adams and Enoch will enroll at UConn in the fall of 2015.

John F. Silver

The Huskies signed Adams as a point guard of the future, a Top 40 recruit, and Enoch at 6-10 and from Norwalk is a project big the Huskies would like to develop in the next several years, especially with many of the pivot options getting up there in years. The Huskies are also in the mix for Top 10 recruit Diamond Stone, a 6-10 center from Wisconsin. Stone is expected to announce his college choice later this month after the fall signing period closes. Stone’s choices appear to boil down to UConn or his home state school of Wisconsin.  Adams fits in nicely with Ryan Boatright done after this season and Terrence Samuel now in his sophomore year. The Huskies also have Sam Cassell Jr. as a point guard option, but both Cassell and Samuel will be juniors next season.

UConn men: Boatright delivers

Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright (11) makes the basket against Bryant University Bulldogs guard Hunter Ware (1) during the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Uconn defeated Bryant 66-53. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sport

Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright (11) makes the basket against Bryant University Bulldogs guard Hunter Ware (1) during the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Uconn defeated Bryant 66-53. Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sport

John F. Silver

STORRS, Conn. — Ryan Boatright had played like this before at UConn.

His first half against Bryant was frustrating, 2 of 5 from the floor and a nondescript eight points.

For a player who for most of his life was a scorer, it’s not the kind of game he planned to have. A couple of years ago, that might have bothered Boatright.

Not this time.

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Recap: UConn 66 — Bryant 53

Result: UConn held off Bryant 66-53 surviving a second half scare to win its season opener.

Need to Know: Ryan Boatright scored 24 points, added eight rebounds and five assists while providing a defensive spark as UConn rallied from nine down in the second half.

UConn trailed by nine in the first minute of the second half as the Huskies were in danger of losing a non-conference game at home for the first time in 13 years. The Huskies put the clamps on in the second half defensively holding Bryant to 26.9 percent shooting, 7 of 26 in the second half.

Amida Brimah added 12 points and five boards with five blocks. Kentan Facey had 12 rebounds for the Huskies.

Links: Recap | Box Score

Next Up: UConn will play Charleston in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at 12:30 on Thursday.